Anna Kann

Anna Kann

After 88 years of family, friendships, service and hijinks, Anna Mae (Kohl) Kann died peacefully in Albuquerque on Oct. 11.

Anna Mae was born on the northwest side of Chicago, on May 14, 1926, the third child and first daughter of Veronica (McCarthy) and Joseph Kohl; her younger twin sisters followed a few years later.

Her life was filled with joy, accomplishment and tragedy. She lost a younger sister, Joan, to a childhood accident, and her oldest brother, Ken, in WWII. Anna Mae was a talented tap dancer, performing at the World’s Fair in Chicago as a youngster.

Anna Mae met her future husband Robert Kann in the closing days of the War, on a Sunday afternoon in a neighborhood tavern. She married Bob, the love of her life, and was blessed with four children.

When her youngest started grade school, Anna Mae was recruited as a substitute teacher. The next year she became a full-time member of the faculty and spent over 20 years teaching 7th and 8th grade English and Reading. She was a superb teacher – very few graduated without knowing how to write, defend their positions or diagram a sentence (tragically, a lost art).

Anna Mae was active in her church and community and enjoyed social events. These social events merged circles of friends and absorbed new generations. Bob and Anna Mae bought property on Orcas Island in 1978 and after retirement, they finally moved from Chicago to Orcas in 1991. Though Anna Mae lost Bob after 46 years of marriage just a few years later, she stayed on the island, volunteering at the public library, the senior center and her church. Eleven years ago, Anna Mae moved to Albuquerque to be close to family. Anna Mae loved Chicago, being Irish, Jazz, family and a good time. She was troubled by injustice and suffering and did what she could to alleviate it. She is survived by her sister Dolores and brother-in-law Larry; her children Kevin, Terry, Veronica and Deirdre; her son-in-law Steve and daughter-in-law Catherine; and her grandchildren Amelia, Alex, Joe and Gloria; her extended family including nieces, nephews and now their children, and many friends. She will be sorely missed here, but will surely be joyously welcomed by those loved ones who preceded her. A memorial service was held in Albuquerque, and a mass will be celebrated in the Chicago area on November 15. To leave a condolence please visit